Writer Wednesday Welcomes Karen Wojcik Berner

Karen has come my way through the fantabulous Wow! Women on Writing blog tour. I love them. If you’re not familiar with their awesome blog, please stop and check them out. Karen has graciously offered to blog for us today on Indie Publishing. I am so thankful for this because it’s a major hot topic in this rapidly changing industry. Today we get to hear it from a source who knows first hand. Enjoy! and Welcome Karen!

Five Things You Should Know About Indie Publishing

Thank you so much, Julie, for inviting me here. I am very excited to be your guest blogger today.

Some have branded 2011 “The Year of the Indie.” Independent authors have seemingly stormed the gates of the publishing Bastille in droves.

When I released A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One) as an ebook in March 2010, Kindle sales were just starting to climb. The Nook was less than six months old. iPads had not yet entered the marketplace. The first indie superstar, Karen McQuestion, was receiving national attention. Since then, eleven authors have been named Kindle million-sellers, and the mind-blowing success of Amanda Hocking has made her an indie household name.

I would like to share five things I have learned about getting involved in this growing industry.

1. Indie publishing is the great equalizer.

That is the beauty of it. Writing fiction should not only be the domain of MFA graduates. Indie authors are people, like me, who have worked in related fields, such as journalism, editing and public relations for years, always knowing they would go back to writing fiction. Others are traditionally published authors releasing their out-of-print backlists. And some just know how to tell one heck of a story.

2. E-books are indie authors’ best friends.

Most of us sell far more e-books than paperbacks. In November, my ratio was 7:1 e-books over physical. If you are going indie, plan on releasing an e-version, as well as a paperback, to cover both audiences.

3. Never underestimate the importance of a well-edited manuscript.

Hire an editor, or bribe your favorite English major or editor friend with a Starbucks card. Trust me, all editing types love hot beverages (or at least caffeinated ones). I was a magazine editor for more than ten years. I know this to be true.

It is impossible to edit your own manuscript. Everyone needs an extra, trained set of eyes to do a thorough job.

4. Hire a professional cover designer.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all judge books by their covers. Do not put an amateurish front on the novel you have worked so hard on. Not all cover designers are expensive to contract. There are several talented, reasonable artists listed on Kindle Boards. That is where I found mine, Amanda Kelsey, from Razzle Dazzle Designs.  (http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,50419.0.html)

5. Remember, you are running your own business.

This is not a dalliance or an idle pursuit. Being an indie author takes commitment, drive, a business plan, a marketing program and a boat-load of time, just like any other business. Plus, then you have to switch to the other side of the brain to constantly generate new material, whether it is working on your WIP, writing a blog post, or composing a quick-witted tweet.


A Whisper to a Scream by: Karen Wojcik Berner

Annie Jacobs has dreamed of the day she would become a mother since the first time she held her Baby Tenderlove doll. Unfortunately, biology has not cooperated with her plan, and she finds herself dealing with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility instead of picking out baby names.

Across town, stay-at-home mom Sarah Anderson is just trying to make it through the grocery store without her toddler hurling a box of rice at a fellow shopper. She is exhausted from managing the house, a first grader and a toddler, all without any help from her work-obsessed, absentee husband.

A Whisper to a Scream is the story of two women on opposite ends of the child-bearing spectrum who come to realize the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. A vivid portrayal of contemporary marriage and its problems, the novel speaks to a longing in all of us, a yearning that might start as a vague notion, but eventually grows into an unbearable, vociferous cry.

About the Author:

Karen Wojcik Berner lives a provincial life tucked away with her family in the Chicago suburbs. If it was good enough for Jane Austen, right? However, dear Miss Austen had the good fortune of being born amid the glorious English countryside, something Karen unabashedly covets, so much so that she majored in English and communications at Dominican University. Like the magnificent Miss Austen, Karen could not help but write about the Society that surrounds her.

A booklover since she could hold one in her chubby little toddler hands, Karen wanted to announce to the world just how much she loves the written word. She considered getting a bibliophile tattoo but instead decided to write about the lives of the members of a suburban Classics Book Club. The series is called, of course, The Bibliophiles.”) When she isn’t reading, writing, or spending her time wishing she was Jane Austen, Karen spends her time can be found sipping tea or wine, whichever is more appropriate that day, and watching Tim Burton movies or “Chopped,” her favorite foodie TV show.

For more about Karen Berner, check out her website: http://www.karenberner.com/index.html


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